The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a new benefit program that seeks to help families struggling to afford broadband internet. The Emergency Broadband Benefit could help qualifying Oklahoma families who may need assistance with the cost of internet and other technology needs. Below are some quick facts on the new benefit program:
- The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms and more.
- The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
- The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
- A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid or Lifeline;
- Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-20, 2020-21 or 2021-22 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since Feb. 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
For more information on the program and how a family can enroll, visit https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
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